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Photos from the Corvair Society Convention

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  • Photos from the Corvair Society Convention

    Photos from the Corvair Society convention in Sturbridge MA today.
    Errol Groff

    New England Model Engineering Society

    YouTube channel:

  • #2
    The "R-NADER" license plate on the maroon convertible is a nice touch.


    • #3
      Thanks for those beautiful photos Errol. It was the most originality ever shown by GM and a tragedy that a shameless ambulance chaser killed it. My first car was a Corvair. It was a 1965 Corsa with the turbocharged engine. It required premium fuel. Popular at the time was "Amoco White " gasoline which was not leaded and high octane. People told that that was THE stuff to burn. I had no idea that lead had redeeming qualities regarding valve seat lubrication until lead free gas was mandated. So I had no idea why it pulled 2 valve seats clean out of the head. It was a good car, good handling and fun to drive.


      • #4
        Fantastic - that they are still around is testimony to the ignorant alarmism that self-serving Ralph Nader made a part of the American lexicon. Safe at all reasonable speeds. No more, no less.


        • #5
          Thanks Errol,
          Picture #4 looks identical to my first car a 1965 Monza 140 HP 4 Speed, 4 barrel. 4 Single barrels and a whole lot of linkage.


          • #6
            The yellow one (photo 6) looks like the 1965 Corsa 140HP 4-speed I had when I was in college. It would go to redline in all four gears, and it sounded GREAT with dual exhausts.

            I had a yellow '61 Monza before that.
            Last edited by winchman; 07-28-2012, 06:47 AM.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


            • #7
              I was working at a GM dealership when the Corvair first came out.
              I remember the amount of interest good and bad they created when they unloaded the first 6 off the car carrier. Most mechanics hated them.
              I remember they had ordered in the first shipment a Black "Spyder" with the Hi-Po package, and it sold quickly, but the guy never kept it long.
              I never did like them, and in this country they sure RUSTED out badly.


              • #8
                i don't recall ever turning my heater control DOWN in the below zero days but it always started and ran flawlessly. mine was just a 1963 coupe and i really liked it. so much nicer than the 65 chrysler crown imperial it replaced


                • #9
                  Thank you for posting the pictures, Errol. They're all good.

                  DSC06373.jpg is almost a carbon copy of our Corvair. Of all the cars I've owned it was the most fun car to drive because of its outstanding handling. We drove it thousands of miles on winding mountain roads and enjoyed every minute of it. The only objection I had to it was the engine noise in the passenger compartment.
                  So many projects. So little time.


                  • #10
                    Many thanks as always for sharing your adventures. My uncle had an early Corvair that he rolled into a hayfield and landed on its roof. Luckily he wasnt hurt and the field's farmer was kind enough to bring out a tractor and help upright the car. A few quarts of oil and fuel later, and he drove the car home. So much for an "unsafe" car.

                    I know a lot of people today go ga-ga for VW buses. Personally, I think one of the coolest shop trucks of all time would be a Corvair 95 with the side ramp.
                    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                    • #11
                      I remember a friend who rented a Corvair, circa 1965 . Back then, rental companies charged by the day and by the mile. Happily, we discovered that, if we turned the driver side front wheel backwards, it removed miles from the odometer, through the speedometer cable. So, we set up an old washing machine motor and pulley against the tire, and ran the mileage back to save some money ! ( Hoodlums !)


                      • #12
                        I had one of the pickups (1961 Model) that I bought from a good friend, He had taken out all the Corvair engine and transmission and put in a sub-frame with a differential from a 55 Chevy car. Mounted a small block Chevy 327 V-8 and transmission in the well just behind the cab. The radiator was behind the seat. The drive line was only about 16" long was really hard to keep from vibrating if you put much weight it the back because of the steep angle. It was very fast and fun to drive, but I ran it off the road in a snow storm and totaled it out. I have some photos somewhere, I'll have to dig them out.

                        I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.


                        • #13
                          Corvair engines also have the exact same bolt pattern as a VW bug engine...


                          • #14
                            Thank you for the pics Errol!! I wasn't alive when these things were being made. But I do like the trucks. It would make a nice shop truck



                            • #15
                              have a lot of Corvair stories from my mis-spent youth. The last one, I wasn't there for.

                              My folks came down to Georgia where I was stationed to take my car home, as I was deploying on a cruise with my squadron on the America.

                              On the way North on I-75 near Jellico TN, on a big downgrade, the left rear axle bearing failed without warning. The Corvair was a '63 with the earlier swing axle and had a pressed-on sealed bearing outboard. When the bearing failed the axle pulled outward, pulling the u-joint out of the transmission.

                              This also carried the brake drum outward away from the brake shoes. The car had the old single brake system, so the first push of the brake pedal pushed the left rear wheel cylinder to the max plowing the pistons out of it for a total loss of brakes, except for the hand brake on the right rear wheel.

                              The change in rolling geometry was causing the car to veer hard to the left. When Dad tried the hand brake, the car veered hard to the right. On one side of the highway was the median and oncoming traffic and on the other was a steep drop.

                              Dad worked the brake on and off, veering back and forth across the highway until they came safely to a stop.

                              The tow truck towed the car to a closed gas station just off the expressway and left. This was on a weekend and everything was closed - Dad idly wandered around the back of the station and discovered, laying in the dirt, a Corvair axle - with a reasonably good bearing! What are the chances of that?

                              My tools were in the car so he set to work and swapped the axle. The replacement was bent slightly, causing the rear wheel to wobble slightly, but they completed the trip to Michigan.

                              While he was working on the car, a good ol' boy stopped by and told Dad that another Corvair had suffered a similar fate, but had gone over the drop on the side of the highway.

                              My car was retired.
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~